Post by Dave Homewood on Oct 24, 2015 22:06:54 GMT 12
I have been thinking, I have never ever seen anyone - either in New Zealand or anywhere else - build a model or a diorama depicting the soldiers of the Malayan Emergency or the Indonesian Confrontation conflicts.
The history of New Zealand involvement in these conflicts has been all but forgotten by the public. Just as earlier in WWII and later in Vietnam, our infantry and special forces members were very involved in jungle warfare in these two conflicts.
Wouldn't it be nice to see the involvement of the NZSAS and the 1RNZIR reflected in some nice jungle dioramas?
Do modellers not find these two conflicts inspiring enough? Or is it just a case they don't know enough about them?
Concerning Malaya,'Confrontation' and 'Do modellers not find these two conflicts inspiring enough? Or is it just a case they don't know enough about them?'
I suspect that there are several reasons for this 'lack', with the primary one being that, unlike the somewhat-noisier conflict going on further north, there was no nightly news update on TV. Those involved simply 'got on' and did what they were there to do.
In addition, these operations were occurring in very remote areas, with few roads, so helicopters (usually only able to carry relatively-small payloads due to the limitations imposed by the local climate) tended to be the primary mean of access, although a few fixed-wing types were also available. Their numbers were never great and it was easy to 'regulate' who went where. Service personnel always took priority...
It should also be remembered that the 'Empire' forces involved were all 'professionals' and not draftees. They knew why they were there, they knew what they had to do and they did so. The were also proud of their work, and knew that the people back home in Britain and Australia and New Zealand(along with the other colonial territories that comprised the larger Empire) shared that pride.
Finally (and unlike the American experience), and in Malaya especially, the 'British' military forces knew that they had the support of the locals (initially the Malay peoples, and later the Malaysian state) and exactly whom they were fighting against. The US had had this at one time, but largely as a result of their own actions eventually lost it...
The 'Emergency' came, it was concluded and was followed by the 'Confrontation' and it too was concluded; all quietly, all efficiently and, most importantly without fanfare. Such is the 'British' military way. And when the operations were declared to be 'completed', those involved merely submitted their reports, tidied up their barracks and went on to whatever the next 'job' was to be.
The Americans, of course, did things differently...
Because of this, and for the reasons I've outlined, few dioramas are made because little is known and little was recorded; such was the nature of 'Police Actions' when Britannia ruled the waves (and the Jungles).
Trusting that this helps to answer your questions. Thanks for posing them.
I haven't built a diorama but that was was the aim. Years ago I built a Revell 1/32 Mosquito converted to the PR version used during the emergency. On the vehicle side I had several Daimler Dingo scout cars modified with a variety of turrets and added superstructures added in Malaya. Also scratch built armoured RL and F60 trucks along with a improvised armoured jeep and civilian cars used by rubber plantation mangers. Finally two armoured railcars that were built to patrol the Malayan Railway lines.
I have an extensive collection of books on the emergency and Operation Firedog , the air force contribution.
I have published a magazine article on the military vehicles used during the emergency which started out with WWII veterans but later featured the first post war replacement vehicles.
Where did this interest come from? As a 10 year old I still recall the day mum drove us to Changi airfield to pick up dad who had just finished a night shift in the Changi airfield DF hut then we drove to across the causeway to Johore Baru to book into the Government rest house for the start of a weeks leave. We then set out to explore Johore Baru and just down the road was a truck scrap yard filled with deep bronze green vehicles. Dad was interested to see what they were so we stopped. Inside were armoured RLs, armoured Fords, Bedford QLs and Austin K2 ambulances. etc etc.
I still bare the scars from my mother refusing to let dad buy me one of these war relics for just a few Malayan dollars.
Last Edit: Oct 25, 2015 8:25:38 GMT 12 by 30sqnatc